Prospectus

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Public Values

Course 2012-2013

Public Values

Course description

What is ‘public’ about the public sector? Is ‘efficiency’ a core value if you work for government? Does ‘the public interest’ exist? Can ‘public administration’ be described in a value free manner? Is ‘integrity’ a special value for the public sector? Or ‘client-orientedness’? These questions concern the very nature of public life and they all relate to normative ideas. On the one hand, attention for values in our discipline is as old as the field itself. On the other hand, attention seems to be booming if we take into consideration the growing interest, among politicians, civil servants, and academics, in issues of ethics and public values (in both policy-making and in management), and the increased awareness that the very concept we use to describe and discuss matters of government and administration are value-laden.

This course will focus on the normative foundations in a broad perspective: what values are central to the public sector, its administration, and its study? The subject is a broad, in-depth introduction to the core issues regarding the (public) values used in thought on government and administration, with a focus on the most recent developments and debates.

Course objectives

We aim to meet the following two ‘final goals’ of the MSc-program:
a. Orientation on the content and foundations of various areas of public administration
b. Academic skills

Specifically, this course aims to provide students with:
1. Knowledge of the value-laden character of public administration and its study.
2. An overview of classic and contemporary research on (public) values in PA theory.
3. Insight in the nature and particularly the diversity and/or unity of (public) values.
4. An advanced-level theory-based analysis of normative issues relating to the public sector.
5. Ability to respond to value-related claims in students’ own area of specialization or interest.
6. Skills to reflect critically and write academically on PV questions in PA theory & practice.

Timetable

Courses
Tuesday 5-2-2013 10:00 13:00 CASUARIS A0.06
Tuesday 12-2-2013 10:00 13:00 CASUARIS A0.06
Tuesday 19-3-2013 10:00 13:00 CASUARIS A0.06

Working group 1 (Prospectus number 10142)
Tuesday 19-2-2013 10:00 12:00 CDH-SH BUITENHOF
Tuesday 26-2-2013 10:00 12:00 CDH-SH BUITENHOF
Tuesday 5-3-2013 10:00 12:00 CDH-SH BUITENHOF
Tuesday 12-3-2013 10:00 12:00 CDH-SH BUITENHOF

Working group 2 (Prospectus number 10143)
Tuesday 19-2-2013 10:00 12:00 CDH-SH ARCHIPEL
Tuesday 26-2-2013 10:00 12:00 CDH-SH ARCHIPEL
Tuesday 5-3-2013 10:00 12:00 CDH-SH ARCHIPEL
Tuesday 12-3-2013 10:00 12:00 CDH-SH ARCHIPEL

Working group 3 (Prospectus number 10144)
Tuesday 19-2-2013 12:00 14:00 CDH-SH BUITENHOF
Tuesday 26-2-2013 12:00 14:00 CDH-SH BUITENHOF
Tuesday 5-3-2013 12:00 14:00 CDH-SH BUITENHOF
Tuesday 12-3-2013 12:00 14:00 CDH-SH BUITENHOF

Working group 4 (Prospectus number 10145)
Tuesday 19-2-2013 12:00 14:00 CDH-SH ARCHIPEL
Tuesday 26-2-2013 12:00 14:00 CDH-SH ARCHIPEL
Tuesday 5-3-2013 12:00 14:00 CDH-SH ARCHIPEL
Tuesday 12-3-2013 12:00 14:00 CDH-SH ARCHIPEL

Mode of instruction

Lectures and class discussions.

Assessment method

Two written assignments. Course material is also obligatory for the assignments as far as it is set out in sheets, handouts and other information media.

Reading list/Literature

  • De Vries, Michiel & Pan Suk Kim (2011). Value and Virtue in Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective. London: Palgrave MacMillan (ISBN: 978-0230236479) -> Buy this book via B.I.L. with a 50% discount!
  • Reader: recent academic journal articles on public values (details to be announced via BlackBoard)

Blackboard

Instructor uses Blackboard. This page is available a week before the course commences.

Registration

Via USIS

Contact information

Dr. Luc Fransen
l.w.fransen@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Remarks / Preparation for first session —